Nov 15, 2019

WSJ: Feds probe Giuliani's personal ties to Ukrainian energy project

Rudy giuliani

Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani expected to personally profit from a Ukrainian natural-gas business backed by two colleagues who helped his push for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Earlier this year, Giuliani's associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman proposed plans to Ukrainian officials and energy executives for a Poland-Ukraine pipeline transporting U.S. natural gas. The two men also requested assistance on investigations into Biden and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

  • In talks throughout this summer, Parnas and Fruman allegedly told Ukrainian officials and others that Giuliani was a partner in the pipeline business, a source told the WSJ.
  • Another person claimed the two men considered Giuliani to be a potential investor in their business, Global Energy Producers, per the WSJ.

What he's saying: Giuliani denied any personal involvement, telling the WSJ: "I have no personal interest in any business in Ukraine, including that business. ... If they really want to know if I’m a partner, why don’t they ask me?”

Background: Parnas and Fruman, both foreign-born Trump donors, were arrested in October on campaign finance charges for conspiring to funnel money to American politicians and illegal campaign donations. They pleaded not guilty.

  • The Wall Street Journal also reported in mid-October that prosecutors were evaluating Giuliani's personal business dealings in Ukraine.
  • Giuliani obtained legal representation in early November.

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